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Glamping in the Catskills – Exploring Phoenicia, New York

Glamping in the Catskills
Note: A huge thank you to Glamping Hub for sponsoring our stay so that we could write this post. This is an honest review of our experience glamping in the Catskills.

Is there anything as good for the soul as a weekend in the woods? If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you already know that escaping into the wilds is part of what keeps me sane. It doesn’t matter if it’s an afternoon hike, a week-long canoe trip, or a few days holed up in a cabin somewhere — adventuring away from home fills me up and makes me a better person.

Over the weekend we took advantage of a long-planned escape into the Catskills with Glamping with Pets. We left our too-busy teenagers behind, but we did bring our Guiding Eyes puppy, Flash, who is always up for an adventure. We also packed a bottle of wine, some bubble bath, Vermont maple syrup, and our snow boots. I had a feeling that the snow gods would smile upon us, and I was totally right!

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

The cabin we chose for this particular adventure is in Phoenicia, New York, an area we’ve explored a bit, but not nearly enough. When deciding on the perfect weekend retreat, I was looking for four things – a pet-friendly stay, privacy, a woodstove, and a bathtub (we don’t have one at home). This little cabin fit the bill perfectly! Here are the details of our glamping adventure in the Catskills.

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

Our Weekend Cabin in the Catskills

Our glamping cabin is nestled on the side of Panther Mountain in Phoenicia, overlooking a beautiful stream.  We followed a steep dirt road into the mountains until we found our home away from home. Alison, who owns the property and lives next door, greeted us when we arrived on Saturday. Her dog, Harmony, came outside to give Flash his own special welcome. We explored the property first so Flash could stretch his legs a bit. He loved playing in the  stream, tearing around the backyard, and playing fetch in the backyard with Harmony.

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

Making Ourselves at Home

Once we unpacked the car, we got busy relaxing, and let me tell you — this place is perfect for that! There two queen-sized beds, one upstairs in the loft, and one in the downstairs bedroom. There’s also a futon in the living room if you have an extra guest. The cabin is very open with windows and skylights everywhere. I know it’s glamping, but this is NOTHING like camping. There’s a full kitchen, a TV with cable, free Wi-Fi, electric heat, plus the woodstove — basically everything we needed for the coziest stay imaginable.

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

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Linens and towels are provided, and there’s plenty of cookware and dishes in the kitchen. I’d definitely recommend bringing your spice kit to jazz up your meals, plus your own foil, zip-top bags, and saran wrap if you think you’ll need it. Cooking in the bright, open kitchen, was one of the highlights of our stay, as was my morning coffee with the best view and a jigsaw puzzle.

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

Exploring Phoenicia and the Catskills

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

We’ve explored Phoenicia, New York  before, but never in the winter. Phoenicia’s big draw is tubing on the Esopus Creek, which is obviously a summer thing. Folks come from all over to rent tubes at the Town Tinker, and then spend the day floating down the river. It’s super fun, but alas, the river was icy cold on our visit, and the Town Tinker was totally abandoned. Next time.

Phoenicia is a sleepy little town, with plenty of kitsch, good hiking, and a few sweet eateries. The downtown area is teeny tiny, but there are a couple of cool shops. I recommend the Mystery Spot for vintage clothing, retro antiques, and overall weirdness, and the Nest Egg, which is a really fun old-fashioned general store. Both are located on Main Street, right downtown.

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

glamping in the Catskills

Hiking the Tanbark Trail

There’s all kinds of hiking in the Catskill Mountains, but we only had time for one good hike. We chose the Tanbark trail because you can walk there from downtown. Flash loved climbing around on the rocks, and because it was late in the day, we had the trail to ourselves.

 

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

The trailhead starts at the red bench in the park behind the post office. It’s a short (2.3 miles), but serious hike, with awesome geological features and two beautiful vistas. You can read more about the hike on Julie Journeys, and here’s a trail map if you decide to check it out for yourself.

Eating Out in Phoenicia

As I mentioned earlier, the best part about our Catskill glamping experience was being able to cook up our own grub in our own cozy kitchen, but I thought I’d share our favorite Phoenicia eateries in case you don’t like to cook as much as I do.

Breakfast The Phoenicia Diner – This place is a local legend, and it’s ALWAYS busy. That’s because the food (and the coffee) is stellar. Located on route 28, just south of town. Try the  Huevos Rancheros Skillet — it’s delectable.

LunchBrio’s Pizzeria and Restaurant – The aroma of mouth watering wood-fired pizza wafts through the town of Phoenicia day and night, making it nearly impossible to pass by Brio’s without stopping in for a bite. The pizza is pretty awesome, but so are the burgers, wraps, and sandwiches. Oh and the garlic fries. I already want to go back!

Dinner The Phoenician Steakhouse – I’ll start right off by saying that I’m a vegetarian, so I really shouldn’t be reviewing a steakhouse, but this place is awesome. When we visited I had the Fusilli Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Goat Cheese. AMAZING. There’s also a myriad of high-end cocktails. The perfect end to a perfect day in the Catskills.

What We Loved About Glamping in the Catskills

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

  • Our cabin and the property was really pet-friendly. It’s obvious that Alison loves dogs and she was very welcoming to us and to Flash. This is really important to us.
  • It’s a great place to escape. We could have spent the whole weekend in our cozy cabin and been totally happy.
  • The bed was so comfortable. Better than any hotel, that’s for sure. We slept in the loft, so I can’t speak for the downstairs bed.
  • Cooking in the lovely kitchen. Did I already say that?
  • Snow made it beyond perfect. Except that we had to leave…

What We didn’t Love

  • The woodstove was HOT. I normally like it warm, but we couldn’t get the temperature right with the gigantic woodstove. We would put in a log to warm up, and then we had to open the windows because it was too hot. I think we could have figured it out if we had a few more days.
  • The downstairs lighting wasn’t great. Especially for doing the 1,000-piece puzzle we had going. Of course, there’s something to be said for candles.
  • The road is steep and slick after a snowstorm. We almost got stuck heading out. Would that have been a good enough excuse to spend one more day?
  • Phoenicia isn’t much of a winter destination. Luckily we weren’t looking for a destination, but I think if I could choose, I would visit in the summer for more hiking opportunities, events, and of course, tubing on the Esopus.

We enjoyed every minute of our glamping adventure in the Catskills, and I’m already planning a summer visit. Want to learn more about our cozy cabin? Find the listing here and visit their Instagram account at Serene Retreat Phoenicia. Want to find your own pet-friendly glamping adventure? Visit Glamping with Pets for hundreds of properties world-wide.

Have you tried glamping in the Catskills? This is a perfect weekend getaway in Phoenicia, New York.

Thanks again to Glamping Hub and Glamping with Pets for providing me with a media stay at Serene Retreat. I can't wait to go back!

17 Comments

  1. Beautiful….but most of all, I want your dog! Gorgeous!

  2. Richard

    Phoenicia IS a winter destination. Snow shoeing, x-country and downhill skiing, hiking (with micro spikes), and eating at many fine restaurants, We own a cabin in the same valley as the one you rented. Yours is on a steep hill and that can be scary in winter if you are unaccustomed to it.

    • Thanks for visiting, Richard. We love your neck of the woods and can’t wait to go back! You’re right about Phoenicia being a winter destination, I just have to get into a winter state of mind.

  3. Ivy

    This sounds like such an amazing winter getaway! I’ve never gone camping (and never wanted to), but I wouldn’t mind glamping because it looks quite cozy and comfortable. Thanks for sharing this experience!

  4. This stay looks fabulous, I love some cozy place to stay and spend my vacation. I have book marked this.

  5. Sooo I’ve never actually glamped or camped but glamping looks a lot more comfortable than I initially expected! This place looks so gorgeous and this looks like a fantastic getaway – I’d love to glamp here one day 🙂

  6. Jo

    Oh gee, I have been meaning to try glamping since forever. I doubt there are any good glamping sites in India though. Catskills looks amazing and I am just like you too- running off and adventuring in the great outdoors is my best escape from the madness of big city life.
    Jo recently posted…7 Free Ways to Enjoy a long layover at Singapore’s Changi AirportMy Profile

  7. Very nice and Flash is just the cutest! I live in Montreal so I’m thinking Phoenicia is probably really close. I don’t enjoy traditional camping but I could get used to this!
    Lydia@LifeUntraveled recently posted…Visiting the Pak Ou Caves in LaosMy Profile

  8. What a perfectly adorable place to use as a base for exploring the Catskills! I haven’t been to the Catskills (yet!), but I would definitely brave the snow and cold to sit by the fire in a cute cabin like this. 🙂
    Natalie recently posted…Top 3 Places You Don’t Want to Miss in NorwayMy Profile

  9. I keep hearing the word “Glamping” and had no idea it meant staying in a cabin. This whole time I thought it meant camping outdoors, but the tents had better sleeping arrangements and not sleeping bags 🙂 I would love to stay in this cabin and bring my furry friend with me.
    Candy recently posted…Why Everyone Is Talking About the Custom Coordinate Wanderer BraceletsMy Profile

  10. That cabin is amazing! That’s upmarket even for glamping – that gorgeous living room and a dining room – no glamping I’ve done so far 🙂 The snow looks great to enjoy, but as you said trying to do practical things like driving in the snow isn’t ideal – I’d love to see what its like in the summer!
    Claire recently posted…A Practical Guide to Tayrona National ParkMy Profile

  11. Looks like a great escape and how wonderful that you could take your beautiful dog. It’s such a shame when our furry friends miss out on all the fun. I like my heating “tropical strength” so the cabin sounds like it has the right level of cosiness for me

  12. The snow gods must really love you because that’s such a beautiful scenery in the woods! I love seeing snow but never realized that it’s much more beautiful in the woods. Love the glamping experience. 🙂
    Noemi of Pinay Flying High recently posted…Things To Do In London | Brush Shoulders With The Celebrities in Madame TussaudsMy Profile

  13. Jeanne Schlosser

    Hi Tara! I lived in this area for many years and you have represented it well. I knew a very talented man by the name of Eric who worked with me in Phoenicia for a semester. I’m wondering if you are related? If that is the case, wow, small world!
    Hope you enjoy many future adventures in the Catskills.

    • Hi Jeanne –
      Eric is my main squeeze! We live in Bennington, Vermont, but it was so fun to explore Phoenicia again. We drove past the school where Eric got his start teaching. Seems like yesterday, but it’s been many years!!

  14. What an incredibly cozy looking place perfect for a winter weekend getaway! I have never been to the Catskills but we should totally take advantage of this while we are on the east coast!
    Megan Indoe recently posted…Georgetown Street ArtMy Profile

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